11 November 2012

Nigeria: Over 350 Hectares of Cassava Destroyed by Flood in Edo

Photo: Emmanuel Gbemudu/IRIN
Women with a dug-out canoe in front of their flooded homes in Toru-Orua in Sagbama.

Auchi — The Edo North coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Abdulahi Mohammed, has disclosed that over 350 hectares of cassava farm were destroyed by flood in Edo.

Mohammed disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Auchi, Edo. He said the flood, which affected Etsako East and Etsako Central Local Government Areas of the state, caused serious damage to the council areas which were known for growing cassava, rice and yam.

The farmer lamented that most of the cassava farmland destroyed by the flood was almost at harvesting stage.

The AFAN coordinator called on state and Federal Governments to urgently map out strategies of ameliorating the suffering of the affected farmers.

Mohammed said that the affected farmers would face lot of pressure coping with losses because most of them borrowed money to farm.

He, though commended the role so far played by the governments, individuals and organization, for identifying with the flood victims, called for additional donations for the victims.

"The most important thing I think these people need now is assistance for them to go back to their normal business, which is farming. They need assistance in form of finance, farm inputs and implements.

"If government can seriously come to their assistance with the above listed items, the people will have something to hold on to because they have lost so much that they almost want to give up on life.

"Government can make things happen fast because November and December are a good time for planting cassava," the coordinator said.

Mohammed also urged the Federal Government to reinvigorate its agriculture policy implementation, especially that on cassava.

He said that government policies on agriculture were good but they most often ended up on the pages of newspapers.

"If this new policy on cassava flour for bread is to work out well, then government must not only work with the farmers but plan with them as well". NAN

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